Student leader in UK vows to paint over mural by artist of Jewish origin

Emily Dawes, the student leader, tweeted "mark my words, we're taking down the mural of white men in the uni Senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself."

By
October 25, 2018 18:19
1 minute read.
University of Southampton, England

University of Southampton, England. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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The student union president at the University of Southampton called on Wednesday to take down a "mural of white men," that hangs in the Senate room of the university.

The painting, by an artist of Jewish origin, is called the Rothenstein Mural and depicts a degree being given to an "unknown soldier" of the Great War. Thousands of students left universities during the war to serve at the front and many did not return.

Emily Dawes, the student leader, tweeted "mark my words, we're taking down the mural of white men in the uni Senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself."

She later apologized and claimed her intention "was to promote strong, female leadership."



The painting was created by Sir William Rothenstein who was born in 1872 to a family of German-Jewish immigrants. He depicted Jewish themes in his work, including the 1906 'Jews Mourning in Synagogue' that depicts the Machzike Hadaas synagogue on Brick Lane, according to an article on the work at the Tate.


Despite being painted by the son of immigrants from a persecuted minority, Rothenstein's mural has now become the targeted of hatred at the University, with some students demanding to cover up his work. This comes at a time of increased concerns over antisemitism in the UK. Earlier this year UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was criticized for his response to a controversial mural that had antisemitic imagery.

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